Students in Julie Whitaker’s (far left, above) Bridging Borders course spent the first two weeks of January 2014 in the charming colonial city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Chiapas is the southernmost state in Mexico. It is also the most impoverished and most highly indigenous state of Mexico.
Students collaborated with local university students on a project at the Yo’onik Learning Center, in Zinacantan, a nearby Mayan village. The trip was facilitated by Natik, a non-profit organization that focuses on sustainable partnerships.
Andrew Shuck, a sophomore from Middleton, Wis., was moved deeply by the experience. The Sociology major, and U.S. Army veteran, said about his experience: “I felt like part of the community, like part of the family, more so than I have ever felt anywhere else in the world.”